Case of the Sensitization project of local communities along the Melong-Dschang road in the fight against STI/AIDS, environmental protection and respect of Highway Code
The sensitization project of the local populations of the Melong / Dschang road on the following themes: the fight against STI/HIV-AIDS, environmental protection and respect of highway code, was implemented by CARFAD, with financial support from the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Cameroon through the Ministry of Public Works (MINTP).
This project began in August 2004 and was completed in May 2007. The sensitization took place during the Melong / Dschang road construction works. It was conducted with the participation of previously trained local facilitators. Sensitization sessions were held in schools and churches, “public meetings” and days of national and international festivals such as the National Youth Day, Labour Day or International Women’s Day.
The three outreach components of the project were discussed in a practical way and / or oral.
The first part concerned sensitization on the fight against STI/ HIV-AIDS. It was about raising awareness on the HIV concept, indicating the various modes of transmission and prevention of STI/HIV-AIDS, carrying demonstrations on the use of condoms and finally to distribute prospectus relating to the topic, male and female condoms (Femidoms).
The second part of the awareness concerned the respect of the Highway Code. Local facilitators focused, among others, on indicating the crossing modes of roadway, demonstrating the importance of road signs and protective helmets for motorcyclists. They also urged the people to protect and treat the Melong-Dschang road as a local heritage.
The third component was environmental protection. In this last phase, the focus was on the prohibition of crops planting in the gutters, promoting the use of good farming practices and different damage caused by stray animals.
In a final analysis, the sensitization project was a success not only because all stages of the project have been achieved, but mostly because of the popularity and the massive involvement of local populations. This aspect is reflected in the decision taken by a number of actions by local residents themselves:
- Populations of Fombap have promised to organize themselves into small groups for the cleaning of gutters at the end of the Melong -Dschangroad construction works
- The municipal police force of Santchou, under the instigation of the project, clear off merchants installed at the roadside for better health and for their own safety
- A circular from the Mayor of the District of Santchou has set certain rules of traffic flow on the Melong-Santchou axis
- A circular from the Head of Village Nkongsoung forbids women to grow crops in gutters
To enable these actions to extend into the future, sensitization must continue after the installation of the Melong-Dschang road project.